July 4th, 2005

Flying Ace

Happy Independence Day

Many times I'll pull a Jay Leno "Man on the Street" bit and ask various people I encounter if they know when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

I got into a bit of a brawl with one of my roommates several months ago over whether or not the study of history was important. In the midst of it I said I was appalled at how many people didn't know that particular date.

She then said that SHE didn't know.

"Um...could it be THE FOURTH OF JULY?!?! Why do you THINK we celebrate it?"

I mean, I don't remember THAT many dates...but I mean, if you're an American...this is THE DATE to remember. I mean, truly, 4 July, 1776. THAT'S IT.

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I am grateful to live in this country. I am grateful to be an American. Once xenologue asked me when we were first hanging out how it felt to be a citizen of the most powerful country on earth. I was a bit startled...I hadn't ever really thought about it in those terms...and especially coming from someone who wasn't a born and bred Yank.

I think I mumbled something about feeling safe...and also feeling like a big target. Keep in mind, this was pre September 11th.

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How do I feel now? Even prouder to be an American. Yes, we can be big and obnoxious and obtuse and I think often we are our own worst enemy. I look at some of the debates going back and forth across both sides of the aisle and think that many of our enemies must be listening in and laughing themselves sick.

However, when I read the history books (by actual historians and not the crap that gets taught in public schools,) the more astounded and humbled I am to live here and be a citizen of this remarkable country.

What an unbelievable gathering of so many great and noble men around 1776 and the sacrifices they had to make...and all for a dream.

Indeed, God bless America.
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